The sky falls down


Just when you think all is right with the world, the sky falls down.

It must have been naive hope that had me thinking a dummy would solve all of my problems. For a while though, it seemed it had. While not on a strict schedule, Timmy’s feedings had tended to settle to three-hourly intervals, by default, leaving me with comfortable sleeping slots.

Then the sky fell down.

Whether it ought to be attributed to a growth spurt, dreams of desert sands creating insatiable thirst, or an unfortunate alignment of the stars, a couple of nights ago Timmy decided to be hungry almost every hour. This continued into the following day, so after almost 20 hours of not being allowed to sleep longer than an hour, while frequently hearing a newborn’s symphony of screaming, my brain was shattered glass.

I had been anticipating help to arrive in the middle of the day, but for reasons still unclear, and which it does me no good to speculate, the help didn’t arrive. By the time I learned it wasn’t going to, I was too far gone to ask anybody else for rescue. I simply couldn’t imagine being able to use a phone. I could only curl up on the couch and cry in despair, feeling utterly broken.

“If I advertise a baby for sale,” I asked my husband when I could form a coherent sentence, “will I be arrested?”

“…Yes,” he said.

I thought for a moment.

“What if I offered to give him away…in exchange for a finder’s fee?”

Apparently that was funny.

My lovely husband (who himself has been weakened by the pervasive presence of this screamer) put Timmy in his cradle, shut his door, and guided me to our own bed. He then lay down with me and did what I think was a rather neat psychological trick: getting me to talk about one of my favourite things — coffee.

He asked me what I like about them, what my favourite coffee is, where I had it, what makes a good coffee, how the first sip makes me feel, my favourite place to be for one… And when Timmy kicked up his crying again, Husband covered my exposed ear with a hand, kept his gaze locked with mine, and continued to get me talking about coffee.

It worked, too. My breathing calmed, and I could begin to gather the pieces of my brain that were lying in shards around my cranium.

That evening (last night) I was ready for a repeat. I had the couch made up with duvet, soft cot blanket, and pillows, in readiness for when I may have to bed-share with Timmy, to settle him. The night started well, but by 5 a.m. I was lying with a little bundle on the couch. The feeds had generally spaced to two hours apart — still unpleasant, but morning saw me feeling a whole lot better than yesterday.

Hark, what’s this I hear now? A crying baby. That must be my cue to attend him…while I think of coffee.


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